Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the top footballers facing steep salary cuts or salary deferrals, while the biggest football clubs in the world seek to compensate for the losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to several people familiar with the discussions, at least ten of the 12 highest-paid clubs in Europe are negotiating measures to reduce their payroll by several million euros.
Even the wealthiest teams, concentrated in the financial bastion of sport in Europe, suffered a severe liquidity crisis due to the suspension of matches during the global pandemic. Carryover means no match or broadcast income. Football is suspended across the continent until May at the earliest, but is expected to be delayed by several weeks.
Salaries in the top five European leagues in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France amount to 9 billion euros, representing 62% of total club revenues, according to the cabinet. Deloitte Consulting.
This week, FC Barcelona, the highest-paid club in the world, announced temporary pay cuts for its team of players, including some of the biggest sports stars such as Messi and Luis Suárez.
Borussia Dortmund, Germany, said players have given up part of their salary, which will save “a million figures” in personnel costs, while Bayern Munich players have agreed to a reduction 20%.
Italian Juventus, where Portuguese striker Ronaldo plays, is in talks on modifying player compensation arrangements, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
The Premier League held a meeting with the Professional Football’s Association on Friday.
The PFA said the talks were necessary because “as with other industries, the current Covid-19 crisis is having a severe impact on the game’s finances. Several clubs have already approached players to force postponements salary ”.
The 20 Premier League clubs will meet next Friday to continue discussions on their response to the coronavirus stop. Several people familiar with the talks suggest that the teams are trying to agree to a salary carry-over across the board.
They said that if the Big Six clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Chelsea – had not started discussions, they were likely to agree on a collective measure that would support the clubs in trouble further down in the league.
The Premier League and the PFA issued a joint statement that “tough decisions will have to be made to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England and have agreed to work together to find common solutions” .
Real Madrid declined to comment and Paris Saint-Germain did not respond to requests for comment.
National football competitions around the world have been halted due to the global pandemic. Flagship tournaments such as the Euro 2020 Championships and Copa America have been postponed until next year.
Consulting firm KPMG has predicted that the Big Five football leagues in England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy are expected to face nearly 4 billion euros due to the lost day, broadcast and sponsorship revenues if the remaining matches of their season are not over.
For this reason, many competitions, such as the Premier League, wish to extend their seasons until the summer and beyond in the hope of defending lucrative broadcast contracts which will remain unpaid if the remaining matches are cut.
FIFA, the governing body of world football, has also made plans to extend player contracts until the end of delayed national seasons and team transfer dates.
In a document outlining its proposals, Fifa suggests that “to ensure that clubs do not go bankrupt”, they, the players and the coaches “work together” to agree on salary deferrals or reductions, but added: “Alternatively, all agreements between clubs and employees should be ‘suspended’ during any work stoppage. . . provided that other adequate income support mechanisms are found.